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Apple upgrades older iPhones to bypass sales ban in Germany

Apple has ditched Intel modems and switched over to Qualcomm hardware in the German market in order to bring to an end last year's ban following a patent infringement ruling.
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Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

Back in late 2018, Apple was forced to cease selling the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in Germany following a patent infringement ruling, which itself was part of a much larger and longer running series of legal spats between the Cupertino giant and Qualcomm. According to the ruling, Apple used chips that infringed on Qualcomm's power savings technology in the iPhone lineup. In order to lift the sales ban, Apple has now dumped Intel modems and switched over entirely to Qualcomm hardware for the German market.

Must read: Apple products you shouldn't buy (February 2019 edition)

The alleged patent violation didn't involve Intel hardware directly, but instead another Apple supplier – Qorvo Inc – which supplied a chip that infringed the patent that was used alongside Intel hardware.

The ban affected iPhone 7/7 Plus/8/8 Plus smartphones, and did not affect newer iPhones with Intel chips on sale in Germany.

Apple began to switch away from Qualcomm modems back in 2016, adding Intel modems to the lineup, and last year's iPhone update saw Qualcomm modems being dropped completely.

"Qualcomm is attempting to use injunctions against our products to try to get Apple to succumb to their extortionist demands," Apple said in a statement to Reuters.

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